Top 59 Greek Mythology Tattoo Ideas – [2020 Inspiration Guide]
When tattooing Greek mythology there are enough Gods, heroes, monsters, mortals and bad ass mythical creatures to make anyone’s head spin.
The most popular Gods for tattoo design in Greek Mythology include: Zeus, Poseidon, Hermes, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, and Hades.
Other popular Greek tattoo designs often include reference to the great Greek Warrior Achilles, the King Sisyphus, Atlas, the Trojan War, plus elements of the Greek alphabet and Greek letter ideas popular with US college fraternities.
Read on for the top 59 best Greek tattoos, featuring remarkably talented tattoo art and imagery.
1. Greek Mythology Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
For most people, getting tattoos is a process; as time goes on people collect more, slowly replacing blank skin for the black, gray and color designs that perfectly represent the style and sensibilities of the wearer. Sometimes these are loads of independent pieces of flash that are slowly incorporated into a larger composition, and sometimes they are large, complex pieces; full-sleeves fall into this category.
These full arm tattoos utilize the body’s natural lines to draw the eye up and down the entire tattoo, and the intriguing and dramatic stories from Greek mythology are the perfect subjects for such large canvases.
2. Greek Portraiture Tattoos
Human beings are hardwired to focus on faces. The amount of information we deduce from the tiniest variations in a person’s countenance came about through our collective evolution and is one reason why portraiture is such a compelling art form.
Whether photo-realistic black and gray pieces or the more stylized interpretations of American traditional tattooing, portraits make for gripping designs and the myths, stories and fables of Ancient Greece are rife with dramatic material to draw from. The cast of characters, from gods and demi-gods, to monsters and ghouls, ensures the Greek mythos has a subject for almost everyone.
3. Greek Mythology Tattoos
The upper arm has remained a popular spot for tattoos thanks to the broad surface area of a well-maintained bicep, as well as for the opportunity to hide interesting details in the area of the inner arm.
From tribal arm bands all the way to fully covered half sleeves, this part of the body allows the wearer to proudly display their work whenever they wear a tank top or hit the beach. When designs inspired by the tumultuous Greek mythology are applied to the upper arm, they make for some instantly recognizably eye-catching tattoos.
4. Hellenic Warrior Tattoos with Meaning
The term Hellenic refers to the time after the conquest of Alexander the Great and deals with the spread and adoption of Greek culture. Hellenic actually means to imitate the Greeks. As their culture spread, so did the unmistakable depiction of Greek soldiers.
The typical Greek soldier, known as a hoplite, wore the characteristic helmet and carried a long spear and round shield. They were highly organized and fiercely loyal, traits that can be highlighted in these interesting tattoos. Their distinctive uniform and equipment make them excellent subjects for tattoos dedicated to the wearer’s warrior nature.
5. Ancient Greek Classical Statue Tattoos
Classical Greece was the period in Greek culture that lasted about 200 hundred years, (the 4th and 5th centuries BC) and was a time that saw the birth of much of what we consider Western Civilization. Architecture, philosophy, theatre and art sprung forth from this period of cultural development.
This also makes themes from this era a great pool to draw inspiration from. The Parthenon, marble busts and mythological creatures can all be used, and for these powerful images a black and gray approach perfectly captures the elegant nature of these subjects.
6. Poseidon Illustration Tattoos
The god of the sea, storms, earthquakes and horses, Poseidon was a petty and vengeful god and is considered the greediest of the gods of Olympus.
His ill temperament aside, Poseidon makes a great subject for tattoos thanks to the dramatic nature of his visage as well as the ability to incorporate interesting elements from the stories and myths that describe this powerful god. Poseidon tattoos are a perfect choice for anyone that has strong connections to the ocean and its creatures and can use either vibrant colors or a black and gray approach successfully.
7. Greek Tattoos featuring Atlas
Greek mythology is intricate and sometimes convoluted, and the story of Atlas and the Titans is a bit of both. The Titans were the first immortal offspring to be born out of Chaos, with their more famous siblings Zeus, Poseidon etc. coming later and becoming known as the Olympian Gods.
By far the most famous of these original Greek deities is Atlas, who was sentenced to hold up the world on his shoulders after the Titans lost the war between Zeus and the Olympians in the Titanomachy. Whether or not someone knows the ins and outs of Greek mythology, the dramatic image of Atlas holding the world on his shoulders is the perfect subject for Ancient Greek tattoo.
8. Ancient God Zeus Tattoos
Zeus was the king of the Olympian Gods, who lived on Mt. Olympus and had power over lightning and the sky. He’s almost unstoppable as a Greek tattoo design.
What many people consider a stereotypical image of a god with a long white beard and flowing robes, chucking lightning bolts at those that do not obey him is actually a depiction of Zeus. He is the perfect subject for a tattoo artist to portray thanks to the opportunity he provides to create scenes full of drama and spectacle, as well as the ability to incorporate other Greek mythology tattoos into the art.
9. Medusa Tattoo Art
Another instantly recognizable character from the Greek mythos is Medusa. This creature, known as a Gorgon, is usually depicted as a woman, often with wings and a head full of venomous snakes instead of hair. She was once a powerful priestess of Athena who was punished after she broke her vow of celibacy and was cursed with writhing snakes for hair and green skin; anyone who gazed upon her face would instantly turn into a stone statue.
Medusa’s gruesome countenance makes for a perfect subject for tattoos-either color or black and gray-providing an opportunity for a talented artist to capture all the intricate details in her face as well as the snakes on her head.
Greek Tattoos FAQ
Which Greek Gods are most popular for tattoo designs?
Tattoos of the Pantheon of Greek God and Goddesses endure in popularity. Depicting the Greek Gods is an entirely different phenomenon as tattoo art design and tattoo artist skills have increased alongside the technology of needles and machines.
The most popular Gods for tattoo design in Ancient Greek Mythology include:
1.Apollo. The god of light and the sun. Not to mention, the god of medicine, plague, healing, poetry, the arts and more
2. Zeus. Ruler of the Olympians of Mount Olympus, Zeus was the “Father of Gods and men.” In Greek mythology, this child of Cronus and Rhea was also the god of thunder and the sky
3. Poseidon. God of the seas, storms and earthquakes. He was the most mercurial of the Greek Pantheon
4. Hermes the Messenger. The Herald of Mount Olympus and Greek God of trade, wealth, luck, fertility, thieves and travel among many things
5. Aphrodite. After Uranus’ genitals were cut and throw into the sea by Cronus, Aphrodite arose from the sea foam. She represented sexuality, love, and beauty
6. Hephaestus. The god of fire, metalworking, stone masonry, forges and the art of sculpture, who acted as the Blacksmith to the Gods. He was the son of Zeus and Hera and married to Aphrodite
7. Athena. She sprang from Zeus’s head, full-grown and clothed in armor, and was the Greek Goddess of War, the female counterpart of Ares
8. Hades. God of the underworld who drew the short straw when balloting with brothers Poseidon and Zeus after they defeated the titans to take control of Ancient Greece
9. Hera. Queen of the Gods, wife and sister of Zeus. She was the Goddess of Marriage and birth but was a vain and jealous Goddess. Hera is often linked to the peacock because of her vanity
What are some other popular Ancient Greek tattoo ideas?
Depicting Greek Mythology goes a long way past a deity or parable of the Pantheon. Other hugely popular tattoo concepts include:
- Greek Alphabet. Fraternities and sororities (or Greek letter organizations) are prominent in the United States college system. Members of these social groups often get tattoos to commemorate their place in these communities
- Greek word and Greek Symbol tattooing. These are also linked to the US College system of Greek Letter organizations who usually depict a word or symbol on the front of their chapter houses.
- Achilles. The Greek warrior who infiltrated Troy in the Trojan War, defeated the hero Hector, and was unbeatable. He was brought down only by an arrow to…the Achilles tendon. Achilles tattoo often feature Brad Pitt pics, as he played the Greek Warrior in the popular film Troy.
- Sisyphus. Zeus made this King push a massive rock up a hill for eternity somewhere in Hades.
- Hercules. The son of Zeus, and strongest man in the world. The Gods usually called him in to sort things out ultra-violently
Looking for more Greek mythology tattoo inspiration to take to the tattoo studio with an awesome tattoo idea? Click on the links below for more classical galleries: